Math Empowers 5

Middletown Township Public Schools

Fifth Grade • 1st Trimester • 2017-2018

Learning Math through Productive Struggle

How can we set students up to be excellent problem solvers and not just solve the problems that look exactly like those in the textbook? Turn teaching upside down. Upside down teaching, where students take on problems they may not know how to solve yet, may seem uncomfortable from the teacher perspective at first, but studies have shown that students really do benefit from trying problems they haven't been specifically taught how to solve. Students, through productive struggle and discussion, learn the power of persistence, become more confident problem solvers, and learn deeper. For more about this powerful teaching structure and some lesson ideas, read here.

The DreamBox 2017 Fall Math Challenge Kicks off November 5th!

This year's Fall Challenge will be taking place from November 5th to December 9th. Winner will be announced December 15th. This challenge is not about lesson completion, but about Growth. The school with the highest percentage growth per student will be the winner of the district banner. Log into your DreamBox dashboard to see how much your students' brains have grown. Ask your building Mathematics Specialist how you can analyze student data to drive small group instruction and increase your students' growth.

Mathical Book Awards

Math is more than numbers and equations! The Mathical Book Prize is an annual award for fiction and nonfiction books that inspire children of all ages to see math in the world around them. Mathical Award Winners and Honor Books are selected by a nationwide committee of mathematicians, educators, librarians, and authors. Each year’s selections join a growing list of stories ranging from picture books and graphic novels to chapter books and young adult literature. Click here to check out the winners!

Seasonal Math Ideas for your Classroom

Encourage Students to Adopt a Growth Mindset


Be sure to explore the Math Instruction Resource Document while planning lessons. Over 100 new links were added last year. Some resources for Chapters 2 and 4 include a video illustrating long division, a video clip from Who Wants to be a Millionaire, various Kahoots, interactive decimal models, and much more.

Thank you for reading! :)

Have any questions, comments, or great ideas to share with your fellow 5th grade teachers – please email me, or your building Math Specialist. “It's amazing what we can accomplish when we're in it together."

Ashley Connors

Elementary Mathematics Specialist

Navesink Elementary School

Math Empowers - Fifth Grade Representative